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The Dr. and Dad Healthcast

The Dr. and Dad Healthcast

By Louis and Dr. Nicole Ascanio
A quick, informative but not technical, discussion on what the latest scientific research can teach us about living longer and better lives
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Episode 69: Getting comfortable being uncomfortable
We humans evolved in a very challenging and uncomfortable environment.  Threats of all types prevailed – predation, rival attacks, hunger, cold/heat, and significant physical exertion was required to survive.  The fact that we’ve not only survived but thrived is testament to our ability to adapt.  That adaptation includes genetic predispositions such as our affinity for calorically dense food, our bodies resistance to weight loss and our natural anxiety.  But what about now?  Our environment is very different from our hunter/gatherer ancestors.  Are we maladaptive for the mostly comfortable reality of our modern life?  Should we purposely introduce discomfort into our lives in order to maintain physical, mental and emotional health?
33:14
May 16, 2022
Episode 68: Ask the Dr Anything - Exercise
Since we ran out of time in the last ATDA, as promised, we focus on activity and exercise in this episode.  It’s a good thing we saved a whole episode for this subject because it went longer than we’d expected.  Lots of great info on things like - Is all activity actually exercise? What’s the minimum effective dose of exercise? Should I focus on Zone 2 cardio exercises or high intensity? And much more!
43:09
March 28, 2022
Episode 67: Ask the Dr Anything: COVID, Mental Health, Nutrition
Another ATDA with Dr Ascanio covering topics from the pandemic and what we may expect this Spring to the epidemic of mental health issues we seem to be experiencing and finishing up with answer to a variety of nutrition questions - “Is peanut butter a health food?”
41:19
March 07, 2022
Episode 66: Why we get hooked on unhealthy foods
Today most of us know that fast and processed foods are generally unhealthy.  For example, it’s not like people are confused about whether a carrot or a cookie is a healthier food choice. So, why do we eat so much crap?  It appears the reason many of us crave and consume fast and processed foods is that we are addictively drawn to these foods.  Furthermore, the food industry understands this fact and then engineers foods to make them more irresistible. However, you can defend yourself from this ”conspiracy”.  
33:07
February 15, 2022
Episode 65: Special three year anniversary episode
The Dr & Dad podcast debuted on February 1, 2019 with the goal of bringing new, interesting, evidence based methods for extending our healthspan to our listeners.  While that still remains our mission, we’re shifting our emphasis a bit and focusing on how we can better help people adopt healthy habits and live longer, better lives. 
37:50
January 25, 2022
Episode 64: Arrivederci 2021
It was a pretty shitty year – We lost Nonno and Anthony, Covid wasn’t conquered by vaccines, political divisiveness reached new highs and our nations capital (and our democracy) was attacked.  Inflation is high, supply chains are broken, climate catastrophes are becoming commonplace and I (the Dad) have to have more surgery… Despite all of this, there were some good things that occurred this past year.
38:37
December 27, 2021
Episode 63: Omicron Oh My!
We recorded our first COVID-19 podcast on 2/21/20 and our last one in early September of this year when we updated listeners on the Delta variant.  We speculated about whether it’d be the last time we talked about COVID and also if a new problematic variant would arise. Well…
30:05
December 09, 2021
Episode 62: Making healthy, easy and delicious food
It’s almost impossible to consistently eat healthy if you don’t regularly prepare your own food.  This is a special holiday season episode and it also may be one of the most useful podcasts we’ve done because proper nutrition (eating healthy food) is one of the most important things we can do to support a longer healthspan.  In this episode we share our go to ingredients, equipment, techniques and a few recipes.
54:20
November 22, 2021
Episode 61: Liquid biopsies for cancer detection
The American Cancer Society estimates 600,000 Americans will die from cancer this year making it the second leading cause of death behind CVD.  Finding cancer early, before it has metastasized and spread, is still the best way to fight this disease.  Today, effective screenings are available for only five types of cancer – breast, cervical, colorectal, lung and prostate, and over seven of 10 cancer deaths result from types of the disease for which we currently don’t have screening exams.  So called liquid biopsies promise to be a new breakthrough in cancer screening; allowing physicians to tell whether someone has one out of dozens of cancers with a single blood draw.
42:19
November 04, 2021
Episode 60: Should we focus on weight loss or exercise for longer healthspan?
We’ve released several podcasts recently that focused on metabolic health including maintaining a healthy weight level.  And, we’ve discussed that nutrition is a more potent lever than exercise if you’re looking to lose fat. In fact, lots of previous studies have documented the relative futility of relying on exercise for weight loss. However, instead of looking at the exercise/weight loss connection, since our real objective should be a longer healthspan (the period of your life when you are generally healthy, active and have good cognitive function), shouldn’t we ask: What’s more important for our healthspan – a healthy weight or exercise?
26:17
October 08, 2021
Episode 59: COVID-19 - The Delta Variant, Vaccines and Masks
The US, and the world in general, is experiencing yet another surge in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.  It was expected that the distribution of vaccines would protect us from this surge, but the variant of the virus spreading now (named Delta) is much more infectious and probably also causes more severe disease.  So, we have some questions for the Dr…
39:46
September 08, 2021
Episode 58: Should you get a cardiac calcium scan?
A cardiac calcium scan (CCS) lets us know the extent of calcium within our cardiac artery walls.  This Is important because this calcium forms over plaques which are the hallmark of cardiovascular damage.  We have many tests that provide insight on our risk of developing cardiovascular disease (such as blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc.) but a CCS lets us see how much damage has already occurred.  It’s also proven to be helpful in estimating future cardiac event risk.
37:16
August 02, 2021
Episode 57: The benefits of carbohydrate restriction
We’ve discussed metabolic health and the benefits of carbohydrate restriction on a number of our past podcasts so listeners may wonder why we’re going back to this subject.  Well, there are a number of new studies that have recently been published that have really put an exclamation point on the efficacy of carbohydrate restriction in treating things like diabetes and obesity and we just felt we had to share them. “Miraculous” probably isn’t to strong a word to use to describe the impact this strategy is having on some of the most intractable challenges facing healthcare professionals and their patients.
39:12
July 09, 2021
Episode 56: A chat with the amazing Julie Foucher!
Dr. Julie Foucher is a board-certified family physician. She completed her medical school and residency training at the Cleveland Clinic, holds a Master’s in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University, and has completed the Integrative Medicine in Residency curriculum through the University of Arizona. Julie competed in the CrossFit Games from 2010-2015 where she consistently finished among the top 5 women with two podium finishes. Her passion lies in bridging the gap between fitness and medicine to empower individuals to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. She continues to do CrossFit for health and longevity and hosts a popular health and fitness podcast called Pursuing Health.  Julie and The Dr. met while both were at the Cleveland Clinic.
44:14
June 21, 2021
Episode 55: The Dr’s Direct Primary Care Practice Update
At the beginning of 2021 The Dr left the large hospital system’s family medicine clinic where she’d worked for several years to open her own direct primary care practice. So, how has it gone? Does she have patients? Does she love it? These and other scintillating questions are answered!
45:04
May 04, 2021
Episode 54: Zone 2 training vs HIIT
We know that aerobic exercise is an important component of a healthy, active lifestyle.  But, what type of aerobic exercise should we be focusing our time and energy on – Relatively low intensity workouts (so called “ Zone 2”), or high intensity interval training (HIIT)?  Some recent studies may be helpful in answering this question.
36:54
April 14, 2021
Episode 53: All about your Metabolic Health
What is “metabolic health and why is it important?  As its name implies, metabolic health is related to our metabolism which is the set of chemical reactions that support life. Metabolic dysfunction, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other problems is rampant within industrialized countries and the Dr’s primary patient challenge. 
45:50
March 10, 2021
Episode 52: Dr. Brandon Baartman joins to discuss vision health
Ophthalmologist Dr. Brandon Baartman, aka the Dr's husband, makes a guest appearance to tell us (almost) everything he know's about the amazing eye and how we can best protect our vision.  We discuss how Brandon became interested in this specialty and his experiences in medical school, residency and during a fellowship. He explains the amazing physiology of our eyes and how we see, as well as how we should be caring for our eyes. Hint - Don't stare at the sun. 
48:44
February 22, 2021
Episode 51: Allulose – A miracle sweetener?
It seems as if Allulose has gone from a relatively unknown sweetener to our preferred type in about 3 months. (Except spellcheck on Word still doesn’t recognize it and marks Allulose as a misspelling)  The average American consumes about 53 lbs. of sugar annually contributing to obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Could Allulose help solve that problem?  What is it about Allulose that so miraculous? 
40:13
February 04, 2021
Episode 50 - How much exercise is need to lose weight?
It should be pretty simple – Begin or increase your exercise routine and weight loss becomes easier.  We know from experience though that isn’t necessarily true.  So why doesn’t the added caloric deficit of exercise translate to success in managing our waistlines?  Is there a some amount of exercise that is likely to deliver weight loss results?
35:56
January 18, 2021
Episode 49: The Dr. gets the vaccine, and other COVID-19 stories
Dr. Ascanio received the initial shot for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine about 10 days ago.  We discuss her experience as well as the vaccine rollout process and concerns around the possibly more virulent UK strain in our final episode for 2020.
32:29
December 31, 2020
Episode 48: COVID-19 Vaccines to the Rescue!
As the so-called “third wave” of the COVID-19 virus rages across the US and the world, encouraging news is coming from projects aimed at creating vaccines to protect us from getting the disease. Of course, the two questions on everyone’s mind are: “When can I get it?“, and “Will it be safe?” We offer our perspective and opinion on these issues and more in this episode.
48:07
November 23, 2020
Episode 47: The best diet for health and longevity
Humans are opportunistic omnivores.  We eat everything available that doesn’t outright poison us. The omnivore’s dilemma is the question of what should we be eating within such a large and diverse set of options.  A new research paper asserts that a Pesco-Mediteranian diet along with intermittent fasting is best supports a lengthy healthspan.
36:10
November 03, 2020
Episode 46: Direct Primary Care - A better healthcare model
The Dr. is making the transition from working for a large hospital system to private practice in a fast growing healthcare model.  It’s called ”Direct Primary Care” (DPC) because the relationship between Dr. and patient is exactly that - direct.  There’s no insurance carrier or corporate bureaucracy in the way and that allows for a much better healthcare experience.  Plus, instead of having 1,500 - 3,000 patients, Dr. Ascanio will have a maximum of 600 to focus all her attention on.  This episode explores what led the Dr. to make the change to DPC and why patients will benefit. 
43:49
October 19, 2020
Episode 45: How to read a food label
There’s a ton of information available on food labels. All of it is mandated by the FDA, but it can be confusing and even somewhat misleading if you don’t know what to look for.
34:38
September 29, 2020
Episode 44: COVID-19 vaccine to the rescue?
We're beginning to hear that a COVID-19 vaccine is getting close to approval.  Maybe more than one.  But, given the shortcuts in the process (compared to the usual vaccine development timeline), can we be sure it will be safe to take?  In this election year, of course this issue has become highly politicized and particularly confusing.  Listen in to sort some of it out and understand what to expect.
35:51
September 14, 2020
Episode 43: The weakest link
We all have a weak link - no matter how healthy we are.  This reality recently slapped me (The Dad) in the face.  Like many people, I ignored my weak link and assumed, since I was in generally excellent health, I had nothing to worry about.  Well, I learned my lesson and you can too by listening to this episode.
34:23
August 24, 2020
Episode 42: The results are in!
Back in Episode 20 (August 2019) we talked about Lou's participation in a study called Predict 2. A home-based study that opened in June 2019 that eventually involved about 1,000 volunteers across the US, measuring nutritional responses to food over a period of 11 days.  After almost a year of waiting we have the results and they offer interesting insights on how we respond to the foods we eat.
32:22
July 07, 2020
Episode 41: Be the Master of Your Habits
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit” Aristotle It seems like “bad” habits, particularly ones related to our health, are much easier to develop than “good” ones. Why is that the case? Particularly considering all the information we have on what we should do to maintain our health. Clearly, there’s more than reason and logic at work here. Just as health science has made tremendous progress in defining healthy behaviors, scientific studies are uncovering why we fall into bad habits and how we can take back control.
40:11
June 23, 2020
Episode 40: Skip breakfast and carbs to control weight
It’s no secret many of us struggle to maintain a proper weight. As we’ve discussed in past episodes, the ready availability of calorie dense food and modern mass marketing in combination with our evolutionary proclivity to store energy in times of plenty conspire to cause rampant obesity in developed countries today. There's also no arguing that being overweight increases the risk of metabolic disorders including diabetes as well as a host of other diseases such as cancer.  Of course, the debate rages around how to counteract our environmental and evolutionary challenges to maintain a healthy weight. Two relatively recent studies shed some light on the controversies surrounding eating breakfast and limiting carbs.
29:45
June 08, 2020
Episode 39: How to supercharge your immune system
Of all the miraculous processes that work to sustain our lives, our immune system may be the most amazing. Multiple organs, cells and proteins interact to protect us from a constant onslaught of threats - including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  What is our immune system, how does it work and can we bolster it's effectiveness? 
35:42
May 26, 2020
Episode 38: Ask the Dr Anything - COVID-19
Q&A on opening up businesses and getting back to normal, the state of testing, treatments and much more.
35:53
April 27, 2020
Episode 37: There must be some kind of way outta here…
After about a month of enduring the varying degrees of social isolation and resultant economic crisis, the question on most of our minds is – When can we return to normal? This is taking on somewhat greater urgency as the economic impacts continue to pile up. Most notably, over 16 million Americans have applied for unemployment in the past 3 weeks. And despite over $2 Trillion in economic stimulus and additional amounts on the way, American businesses are in turmoil. So, when (or how) do we return to normal?
28:21
April 15, 2020
Episode 36: The Dr is frustrated!
It's a gross understatement to say there's a lot of information out there on COVID-19 and how we're responding to this crisis. Unfortunately, much of that fails to address the reality of our front-line health professionals.  In this broadcast we discuss the reality of Nicole's day to day experience in the clinic treating patients.  It's not great...
39:23
April 06, 2020
Episode 35: Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin – A miracle treatment for COVID-19?
A French medical researcher Didier Raoult recently published  results of a small/short clinical trial involving the use of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin in the treatment of COVID-19. When Fox News and then President Trump publicized the apparently effective cocktail, people around the world responded: People stormed pharmacies and pet shops for chloroquine, some killed themselves with aquarium cleaner, India banned chloroquine export, while national authorities including French government decided to deploy chloroquine as the medicine to treat COVID19.  But, is this hype justified?
30:35
March 30, 2020
Episode 34: Fighting COVID-19 on the front lines
Dr. Nicole Ascanio discusses her experiences fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as a Family Medicine doctor in Omaha, NE.  We talk about she's dealing with people who may be infected, protective equipment supplies, testing and much more.
38:32
March 21, 2020
Episode 33: COVID-19 Update - How bad will it get?
It’s been a little over a week since our last podcast which focused on COVID-19, the so-called coronavirus, and much has changed so we thought it made sense to provide an update.
30:00
March 02, 2020
Episode 32: 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) – How worried should we be?
As of February 20, 2020, over 75,000 cases of COVID-2019 have been reported, > 95% of them in China, and the outbreak is linked to more than more than 2,200 deaths. As the epidemic is evolving and the situation is rapidly changing, up-to-date reliable information on the number of cases and recommendations on management of cases and preventive interventions varies.  So, how concerned should people outside of China be?
34:43
February 21, 2020
Episode 31: Must Read! - Lifespan: Why we age and why we don’t have to by David Sinclair, PhD
David Sinclair, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School and is best known for his work on understanding why we age and how to slow (and possibly reverse) its effects. He’s originally from Australia and his Audible narration of the book is particularly enjoyable. TIME magazine has recognized him on its list of the  “100 most influential people in the world”.
32:17
February 12, 2020
Episode 30: Does alcohol cause cancer?
Sadly, for wine lovers like me, the answer is – Yes. It’s estimated that 5.6% of incident cancer cases (approximately 87,000 each year) are associated with alcohol.  We discuss why alcohol is linked to higher risk of developing cancer and why all the previous hype about moderate consumption has proven to be wrong.
27:59
January 17, 2020
Episode 29: US life expectancy is going down!
According to a study in JAMA, life expectancy rates in the US have stopped increasing and have started to decrease. This is in marked contrast to the rest of the developed world where populations can continue to expect longer lives. Life expectancy is a common marker of the health of a population and societal well being, so a decrease is worrisome.  When did it start to decline?  What's causing it and can we do anything about it?
31:52
January 07, 2020
Episode 28: Is plant based artificial meat healthier for us?
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods’ meat alternatives have gained media attention and are increasingly available in grocery stores and restaurants. Are they a healthier option than eating red meat? Are there any studies supporting health claims? What’s in this stuff and how’s it made? Lots of questions to dive into.
35:12
November 24, 2019
Episode 27: Is functional medicine quackery?
(Also referred to as Integrative or Holistic medicine) The functional medicine model of care purportedly offers a system of care that works to reverse illness, promote health, and optimize function by addressing underlying causes, symptoms, and functional imbalances in interconnected biological networks.  Sounds great, but there are many people in the medical field who view functional medicine as unscientific and misleading.  
26:11
November 07, 2019
Episode 26: Is direct primary care a better option?
It's been said that primary care in the US is broken - Our system is bad for doc's and patients as well.  What's behind this dysfunctionality and how bad is it? And, is direct primary care a better option for both patients and providers?
30:05
October 31, 2019
Episode 25: It’s OK to eat red and processed meat???
A series of meta-analysis (studies of previous studies) published in the Annals of Internal Medicine October 1, 2019 indicated the advice to eat less red meat and processed meats is not scientifically valid and there’s little reason for any individual to curb their intake of these foods. Predictably, the reports have ignited a media frenzy which has also engulfed the scientific community. In a statement, scientists at Harvard warned that the conclusions “harm the credibility of nutrition science and erode public trust in scientific research.” So what are we to believe... and do?!
29:12
October 07, 2019
Episode 24: We’re eating (a little) better
With all the information on what we should eat (more vegetables) and what we should not (processed carbs and trans fats), are our dietary habits actually improving? 
34:60
October 02, 2019
Episode 23: Can aging be reversed?
Good nutrition and exercise habits clearly can slow down the aging process. But, is it possible to turn back the biological clock? A recently released (and widely publicized) study claims success in reversing certain key biologic markers of aging.  
27:08
September 23, 2019
Episode 22: Rapamycin – The fountain of youth?
Rapamycin was first shown to extend the lifespan of wild-type mice in 2009 by the National Institute on Aging Interventions Testing Program, and since that time, numerous studies in mice of different genetic backgrounds by many independent laboratories have confirmed the strong prolongevity effect of rapamycin. Finally, and most dramatically, rapamycin has been reported to actually reverse aging, rejuvenating tissues including the aging heart as well as hematopoietic stem cells.
30:25
September 14, 2019
Episode 21: Go get a dose of nature
I recently listened to a podcast featuring a prominent researcher in this area, Ming Kuo. I found it interesting that the genesis of her thinking about the positive effects of nature on humans was learning that zoo animals didn’t do well in environments that provided ample food, shelter and safety but lacked the natural features the animal evolved in. She wondered if the urbanized environment of humans could be having a similarly deleterious impact on our well being.
26:05
August 24, 2019
Episode 20: I’m a study participant!
We’re taking advantage of the fact that I’m in the midst of participating in a clinical nutritional study.  So, this episode will focus on what it’s like to be a participant in such a study – it’s quite involved!  The study is called Predict 2. It’s a home-based study that opened in June 2019 that will eventually involve 1,200 volunteers across the US, measuring nutritional responses to food over a period of 8 days.  
25:20
August 18, 2019
Episode 19: Developing healthy habits
 There’s an abundance (some may say over-abundance) of advice on developing healthy lifestyles – including this podcast.  Underlying it all is the implicit assumption that this information will be used by people to improve their healthspan.  (Otherwise, the only benefit is the financial status of the info purveyors.) But it’s also clear that access to information on how to live healthier and prolong healthspan often is not enough to change habits.  So what can science teach us about developing healthy behaviors?
34:07
August 07, 2019
Episode 18: Nonna and Nonno
Our first guests on the podcast!  Lou's parents (Nicole's grandparents) Jim and Marie have interesting life and lifestyle stories that provide practical insights on extending healthspan.   Nonno was born in Catania, Italy on the island of Sicily and Nonna was born in Portland, Maine where they've lived for all 60 years of their marriage.
46:34
July 29, 2019
Episode 17: Lightening round - 8 interesting studies
With the plethora of recent research on improving health span, we decided to change things up a bit and, instead of doing a deep dive on one study, in this episode we survey a number of interesting new findings.  We look at a naturally occurring anabolic steroid, "weekend sleep", exercise and weight loss and much more.  So, buckle up and listen in to this fast paced episode! 
42:47
July 20, 2019
Episode 16: Metformin as an anti-aging wonder drug
The diabetes drug Metformin has been getting some attention recently as a possible anti-aging drug. Researchers have been discovering that people on Metformin were living longer – even though they had a disease (diabetes) that generally led to higher mortality. Because the drug is so widely prescribed, there’s a large body of evidence that it’s safe with few side-affects. So, should healthy people take Metformin to prolong life?
24:39
June 29, 2019
Episode 15: Meditate and live longer
There’s a growing body of scientific studies that positively correlates the practice of meditation with beneficial reductions in stress and the stress hormone - cortisol. There’s also been some recent research that a type of meditation called Loving Kindness may actually slow biological aging.  Is meditation really an effective strategy for increasing our healthspan?
24:40
June 22, 2019
Episode 14: Tailored Nutrition
   We look to the FDA and other sources to guide us on what we should eat to be healthy. But we also see that people can eat the same food, but their bodies may process that food quite differently. Certainly, we see some people can be allergic or intolerant to certain foods, but it’s also the case that what makes one individual overweight or diabetic or more prone to cardio-vascular disease may have no adverse effect on someone else.  Emerging research is revealing the variability in our metabolic processes, potentially opening the door to personalized nutrition planning.
30:28
June 15, 2019
Episode 13: To fast or not to fast?
Fasting is a hot topic these days, but what does the science say?  In Episode 11 we discussed a study that indicated people who didn't eat breakfast actually had higher rates of cardio vascular disease.  But, as we discussed, there were a number of confounding variables and the absolute risk difference was small.  In this episode we look at a study relating eating or not eating breakfast, exercise and net energy; and also discuss fasting generally. 
27:05
June 01, 2019
Episode 12: Good Carb, Bad Carb
Hi fat, so-called Ketogenic, diets are all the rage these days.  Carbohydrates are cast as the nutritional villain and primary culprit in today's obesity epidemic.  But, has the pendulum swung too far?  Are there "good carbohydrates", and if so, why do we need to make them a part of our diet? 
28:52
May 24, 2019
Episode 11: The Benefits of Breakfast
Is breakfast "the most important meal of the day"?  What about skipping breakfast as part of a, supposedly beneficial, intermittent fasting routine.  Is  there evidence that skipping breakfast is bad for our health?   
27:51
May 06, 2019
Episode 10: Weight and Your Genes
The question of whether your weight is predetermined by your genetic profile (nature), or by your lifestyle (nurture) has been debated for a long while.  Scientific studies are beginning to inform answers to that question and even attribute risk profiles for being overweight based on your particular genes.  This episode explores two recently published studies linking genetics and Body Mass Index (BMI).  We also discuss the utility of insights from genetic testing such as available through services like 23 and Me.
30:47
April 28, 2019
Episode 9: Sleep as Medicine (Part 2 of 2)
This is the second of our two part series on the power of sleep.  In this episode we continue the discussion of the many ways sleep can impact our healthspan for better, and for worse.  And, we also talk about how you can improve your sleep quantity and quality.
36:42
April 21, 2019
Episode 8: Sleep as Medicine (Part 1 of 2)
We spend roughly 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Why? Why did we evolve such that being helpless for such a long period was more adaptive than being conscious? Scientists are beginning to discover the answers to these questions, and what we can do to improve our sleep patterns.  This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series on sleep. 
24:49
April 15, 2019
Episode 7: Healthy Brain - The Basics
While we have a fairly clear idea of the fundamentals of maintaining and healthy body (regular exercise and proper nutrition), what we should do to maintain healthy brain functions is not as defined - particularly as we age.  Alzheimer's and Dementia rates are rising while effective treatments remain elusive, so these diseases are a significant risk to our healthspan.  In addition, we're increasingly inundated with ads for so called "nootropics" extolling their ability to enhance cognitive functions in healthy brains.  This episode addresses these issues and surveys what the current brain research indicates we should believe and act upon.
32:51
April 08, 2019
Episode 6: Doctors and Patients
One of our most important relationships is with our physician.  But, does the US's current healthcare system make it difficult for doctors, in particular Primary Care Practitioners (PCP's), to spend the required to provide quality care to their patients?  Do new technologies like Electronic Health Records help or hinder the Doctor/Patient relationship?  And, what can individuals do to get more value from their doctor visits?
33:03
March 26, 2019
Episode 5: Supplements
Vitamin, mineral and other nutritional supplements are a $30 billion a year industry in the US alone.  But, are people actually benefiting from the money they are spending?  Are claims of efficacy valid? Is there potential harm from ingesting some of these substances?  We address these questions and others on this episode.
30:18
March 08, 2019
Episode 4: Exercise and mental health
We hear that exercise is good for our health in many ways, but is it also beneficial to our mental well-being?  There's increasing scientific evidence indicating exercise is, in fact, very helpful in protecting against depression and anxiety and simply elevating our mood.  In this episode we look at a recent study on the relationship between exercise and depression as well as survey data relating exercise level, age and state of mind.
26:40
March 01, 2019
Episode 3: The danger of processed foods
A recently published observational study involving 44,551 french adults over the age of 45 indicated a statistically significant relationship between the consumption of ultra-processed foods (breakfast cereals, soup and noodles, energy bars, etc.) and all-cause mortality - even after adjusting for differences in BMI, activity levels and other confounding variables.  The authors speculate carcinogens from high-temp processing, additives or packaging contaminants may be to blame. 
24:02
February 24, 2019
Episode 2: Good Science/Bad Science
Every day we are bombarded by media reports about the findings of a new medical study.  Lose weight, avoid cancer, cure snoring... The claims are endless, but are they true and useful.  This podcast provides some perspective on medical research and study results to help you understand what's worth paying attention to.
40:02
February 15, 2019
Episode 1: Live longer and better
   Hi, this is Lou Ascanio. Welcome to The Dr and Dad podcast. This fast paced weekly podcast digs into the latest scientific findings on how we can live not just longer but also better lives. I’m, of course, the Dad. My daughter Nicole is a family medicine doc who trained at the renowned Cleveland Clinic. Thanks for listening and please visit thedranddad.com for the show notes. Within the notes you’ll find links to a bunch of the stuff we discuss so be sure to check it out. Finally, if you like the show, please subscribe to us on Apple podcasts or whichever platform you’re using.
28:08
February 02, 2019